You can’t get to the end of a journey without taking that first important step. When dealing with your customer’s car, that first step seems so simple –yet can cause no end of headaches.
Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said “The beginnings of all things are small” –obviously, Cicero never had to deal with a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number.
The identifying code for each vehicle –the car’s DNA, if you will – the VIN can help tell you almost everything you need to know about a car’s history. That is, if you get the numbers right. Let’s be honest, the VIN is located in multiple places on a vehicle, so getting a VIN into your system shouldn’t be difficult – yet sometimes it is.
Has this ever happened to you?
You walk out to the parking lot with a customer on a rainy morning and as she’s describing the new noise the car was making on her way to your shop, you’re quickly jotting down the VIN on a scrap of paper or a note pad. Once you walk back to your computer you notice that raindrops have smudged some of the paper. Is that a 1 or an L? Is that a 4 or a Y?
Back to the parking lot for another check. Have you thought about how much time can be wasted by having to walk back and forth between the car and the computer? The frustration and communication chasm between customer, service advisor and technician doesn’t have to be this wide.
Here’s a tip: Use technology to your advantage. If a tech takes a tablet device out with them to the car, all they have to is scan the VIN number and it can be processed into your shop’s management system automatically. This is easy, simple, and time efficient. It also makes the rest of the service process smoother, because techs will have all the vehicle’s information immediately on their tablet.
And since they have all the correct information, techs can be sure they are working on the vehicle correctly with the right parts and procedures. Using a VIN Number scanner will help your shop get it right the first time, every time. It’s also more professional-looking. By scanning the door sticker or VIN tag inside the front window rather than jotting down numbers on a sticky note, you’ll reassure your customer that their car will be handled professionally.
Get off to a good start and you’ll likely have a positive ending.